'Teamwork makes the dream work' - BlueStone Press
March 26, 2019
BSP Sports

'Teamwork makes the dream work'

Five women who run for one another and their community


“Teamwork makes the dream work!” That’s the motto of five friends who run together, who support one another and who find strength in each other to make their goals a reality.

So, who are these five amazing women? Jennifer Braun, 39; Cyndy Borzumato-Cobb, 48; Kathleen Laux, 34, all of Stone Ridge, along with Colleen Kortright, 42, Kerhonkson, and Mary Roosa, 53, Cottekill.

“Cyndy and Jen were the dynamic duo for a couple of years, running a couple of half marathons and marathons together,” explained Roosa, who joined the two, running the inaugural Kingston Classic Marathon together in 2014. “Colleen and Cyndy have worked together for years at Medenbach and Eggers, and it wasn't long before Cyndy talked Colleen into running her first marathon in 2016, the Wine Glass Marathon in Corning,” Roosa recalled. “That was the year that Cyndy, Jen and I ran two marathons back to back; Wine Glass Marathon in October and Philadelphia Marathon in November. Whew! We were tired that year!”

Laux joined the four for many shorter training runs, and the gals all ran their first half marathon together, “Celebrate Life” in March. “It was one of the coldest days of the winter last year just two days before 2 feet of snow,” said Roosa. “Needless to say, it was a challenging run.”

So what keeps these girls going with their motto of “Teamwork makes the dream work”?

“The funny thing about runners is that they don't always love to run! There are days when it takes all we have just to get out of bed, just like anybody else,” explained Roosa. “The difference is that we do! On any given day, we all have a love-hate relationship with running, and that's where the teamwork part comes in.” When one of the group is having a bad day, a bad run, or whatever it happens to be, the rest of gang carry her and motivate her.

“We applaud the smallest of accomplishments because we all know very well that we have achieved much by just showing up,” said Roosa. “We are all struggling with many responsibilities: our families, children, aging parents, jobs, etc., the list goes on, and running is cathartic and meditative in a way.” They talk, they run, and they talk some more. “Many topics are discussed and many problems solved on a 20-mile training run,” said Roosa, laughing. “And what happens on the run, stays on the run!”

They are there for each other and more recently, for their community. In October 2017, the group ran for the Friends4Michael Foundation running team in the 42nd Annual Marine Corps Marathon, held each year in Washington, D.C. The event is planned and organized by the Marines Corps and is referred to as the People’s Race. Marines volunteer everywhere throughout the course and cheer on runners the whole way. The race course starts near Arlington National Cemetery, and the final 10 miles include running around the National Mall. “At mile 17, the Friends4Michael Foundation volunteers have a tent with food, water, hugs or whatever you need to keep you going those final miles,” said Roosa.

“We found out about the Friends4Michael Foundation from Deb Domack, president of the Onteora Runners Club, which hosts or supports a number of local running events,” Roosa said. Domack, who was aware of the “fast five,” suggested it to them because she is aware of the group’s interest in running longer races, “However, marathons and half marathons can be difficult to enter; sometimes there are qualifying times or staggering fund raising requirements,” said Roosa. “Friends4Michael is able to keep their fundraising limit within range for the average runner with everyday responsibilities.”

The gals all raised $2,000 for the Friends4Michael organization, which provides financial support to families of children afflicted with brain-based cancers.

“We each went to the website for the organization and watched the video of Michael’s dad, Mike Kwinn, talking about his son who was the driving force for the organization,” said Roosa. The nonprofit was established at Michael’s request so that they could help other children hopefully beat the disease that eventually took Michael’s life. “All it takes is watching that video and reading about all of the children and families that this organization has helped and you are hooked,” said Roosa. “We had the opportunity to meet Mike Kwinn, his daughter, and the team working with their foundation team at the Marine Corps Marathon, and their mission is infectious! They are such loving and caring people who truly appreciate each individual’s fundraising efforts.” Roosa added, “It is not just a gift of money for them, it is a gift of the heart because they know how hard we all worked to get there, with both physical challenges and the financial challenge.”

Additionally, the Kwinn family is from Monroe, and both Mike Kwinn and his wife are West Point alums and faculty at West Point. “The board of directors for the board is also made up of many West Point alums and some local business people, so we really felt like we were keeping it local,” said Roosa.

The group is again "Running4Michael" when they all participate in the NYC Marathon,

Sunday, Nov. 4, for the 26.2-mile run. “The idea for the modern marathon was inspired by the legend of an ancient Greek messenger who raced from the site of Marathon to Athens, a distance of about 40 kilometers, or nearly 25 miles,” said “Encyclopedia” Roosa.

“When you run with a fundraising team, like Friends4Michael, entry fees are handled by the organization,” said Roosa. “So, we are fundraising completely for the organization. The minimum fundraising for this organization and also required by the NYC marathon is $2,500 per person, so for five of us, that means $12,500!!! Now you know why our motto is ‘Teamwork makes the dream work’! We will be working diligently as a team over the next 10 months for each other and for the Friends4Michael organization.”

The group just finished their gift certificate sale, “Dine for a Cause,” where several Stone Ridge restaurants provided gift certificates at a reduced rate of $15 valued at $20 that the runners were selling for $25. In this way the purchaser donated $5 to the cause and the restaurants were matching that donation. “It was a tremendous support from the restaurants in our area that we frequent,” said Roosa. Coming up, they will have “Cups, Corks and Canvas” hosted by local artist Heather Myer (aka Sip and Paint), 6:30-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, at the Accord Firehouse, 22 Main St., Accord, and a bowling tournament at Patel’s Kingston Lanes on Sunday, April 15.

“We embrace that motto, ‘Teamwork makes the dream work,’ because fundraising $12,500 is going to be a monumental task! Each of us has already brought a different fundraising idea to the table, and we are doing our best to work together to make each of them a success for all of us.” Roosa added, “The dream is really just a reminder to enjoy the journey, whatever it may be … the day’s run, the time we spend together, or the events we are planning together.”

For more information on these five amazing women and their Friends4Michael $12,500 fundraising effort, visit them on Facebook – 5 Friends Running For Friends 4 Michael, email 5friendsrunning@gmail.com or visit friends4michael.org.


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